The Panama Canal expansion has generated a major money turnover in the maritime industry. To date, there have been over 200 contracts made, including tenders for the purchase of materials and services for $4,265 million.
The largest contract amount is for the design and construction of the locks for $3,200 million, or, 64% of the total cost of the expansion program, which amounts to $5,250 million. The result of the work progress up until June 30 appears in the Quarterly Report No. 23, released by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). Overall, the expansion program, which must be completed by October 2014, has an advance of 41%. The contract for design and construction of new locks reports a development of 28%. The contents of the report is the last to be made under the management of ACP administrator Alberto Aleman Zubieta, who will serve until September 3. Although the contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal (Gupsa) has accelerated the work to try and catch up with the schedule, the project has a backlog of six months, said the Minister for Canal Affairs, Romulo Roux. By 2013, the expansion program will be composed of nine mega-contracts, with a budget of $84.8 million in new obligations and $58.7 million already authorized, for a total of $143.5 million, including administration costs of the program, the locks, new access channels, the dredging program and improvements to water supply, said Roux. Of the four dry excavation contracts on the Pacific, the first three were completed by 100% and the fourth has an advance of 65%. The contract for dredging the Pacific side has an advance of 86% and the Atlantic, 72%. During this quarter, Hyundai successfully completed the factory acceptance tests of 24 water valves which are part of the locks. In summary, the report states that the Italian company Cimolai continues to manufacture the lock gates and welding is advancing.
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